When the Lakers traded four draft picks to sign Steve Nash, his new teammates couldn’t wait to talk about what might happen when Nash began distributing the ball to the likes of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. A day after Nash’s season – and possibly his career – ended before the regular season opener there wasn’t much said at all about the point guard who never played enough to make a difference in Los Angeles. We haven’t talked about it at all,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said Friday. You send out well wishes and then try to move on.” That didn’t mean Scott didn’t have some compassion for the 40-year-old Nash, who announced jointly with the Lakers on Thursday that he would miss his 19th season in the league because of a back injury.
The players’ union has questioned why the NFL’s domestic violence training and education program ”treats all players as perpetrators.” In a memo sent to NFL Players Association members on Thursday by Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and obtained Friday by The Associated Press, the union also said the plan ”doesn’t build a positive consensus to warning signs.” Smith and union special counsel Teri Patterson described two meetings this month with the league in which an NFLPA commission was briefed on the league’s approach to educating players, coaches, executives, owners and NFL personnel about domestic violence. He wrote that a ”good overview of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse” was presented. The presentation expressly recognizes that people in the NFL are often falsely portrayed and that the actions of a few damage the reputations of many.” ”What the program teaches is that everyone can and should be part of the solution,” the league statement said.
Seattle Seahawks center Max Unger will miss his third straight game on Sunday with a foot injury, while kick and punt returner Bryan Walters will be out with a concussion. Seattle coach Pete Carroll said the team hopes Unger will be able to return to practice next week. He was hurt during Seattle’s Week 5 win over Washington. Wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Paul Richardson will handle the duties on kick and punt returns with Walters sidelined.
Even though Jason Vargas will be making his World Series debut for Kansas City in Game 4, the Fall Classic atmosphere in San Francisco will not be foreign to him. Four years ago, while home for the offseason in Arizona, Vargas and his wife decided to fly to San Francisco to watch Game 1 of the 2010 World Series between the Giants and Texas Rangers. The Giants won 11-7 on the way to their first World Series title in San Francisco.
When Kurt Busch was eliminated from NASCAR title contention, it became apparent to both the driver and his owner that if a change was going to be made to his team it had to be done soon. The change was a dramatic one: Stewart-Haas Racing will swap the crew chiefs for Busch and Danica Patrick beginning next week, giving each driver three races to work with their new teams. NASCAR has issued a ban on testing next season, so SHR believes it is giving its two teams a jump on 2015. For Busch, who won at Martinsville Speedway in March and made the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, the change was necessary to give team owner Gene Haas the results he wants.
It’s all fun and games until Peyton Manning gets mad. Twice in a span of five days, Manning’s attention to detail was on full display, from scripting his own celebration of his record-breaking touchdown throw against San Francisco last weekend to calling out an overly exuberant scoreboard operator during Denver’s 35-21 win over San Diego on Thursday night. He also didn’t appreciate the way Philip Rivers was shown on the jumbo screen to draw jeers. On Friday, coach John Fox said the scoreboard operator made an honest mistake in trying to fire up the fans during the fourth quarter.
The Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs will hold coordinated tributes Saturday night to honor the Canadian soldiers who lost their lives during shootings this week. The tributes will be before games at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, the Bell Centre in Montreal and Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The Senators said Friday the teams will show appreciation for the men and women whose actions stopped the attackers and aided victims.
The Indianapolis Colts will be without wide receiver Reggie Wayne against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Wayne was initially listed as day-to-day with an elbow injury before being ruled out Friday by coach Chuck Pagano. It’s the second straight season Wayne will be unavailable for Week 8. Wayne injured his elbow last week against the Cincinnati Bengals after landing on it awkwardly.